Cuban Shortstop Arruebarruena Defects

Promising Cuban shortstop Erisbel Barbaro Arruebarruena has left his home country to try and sign with a major league team, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America.  Arruebarruena is known for his tremendously sharp defense at the shortstop position, drawing comparisons to Jose Iglesias in the field.

Arruebarruena, 23, has played in Serie Nacional for six seasons, so his bonus will not be subject to the international bonus pools. MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez tweets that Arruebarruena has established residency in Haiti. He will now need to be cleared to sign by the U.S. government and MLB.

Earlier this year, Baseball America ranked Arruebarruena the No. 10 World Baseball Classic prospect not signed with an MLB team.  Badler writes that the shortstop is a below-average runner but he makes up for it with a quick first step and solid instincts that give him good range.  Scouts have called Arruebarruena a magician in the field, but he'll have to step things up at the plate.

In related news, Cuban reporter Ibrahim Rojas tells MLBTR that 19-year-old pitcher Javier Gonzalez, 22-year-old pitcher Jorge Hernandez, and 25-year-old outfielder Dayron Varona have left Cuba.


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